The Pacific Power of the Purse event March 7 at the Pacific Eagles had a huge turnout and brought in a record-breaking $31,275.
Between 2007 and 2019, the Pacific Power of the Purse has raised more than $127,000 for Franklin County Area United Way.
Organizers welcomed more than 300 supporters to the event and sold a total of 81 purses with the highest bid of the evening reaching $3,100 for one of the 11 live auction purses, which contained tickets for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Another 70 purses were sold in the silent auction.
This event has become a source of community pride for Pacific women who keep the event at or near the top money raisers among cities in Franklin County.
Five elements make the event a success each year, organizers said.
Chairman Dennis Oliver and his committee begin planning for next year’s fundraiser immediately after the event each year.
The list of donors and sponsors who contribute purses and cash to this benefit has grown to 47.
The women of the community have adopted the annual benefit and made it the social event of the year.
Area firefighters join in the fun, parading through tables of ladies dressed to the nines, showing purses in mock runway model style and accepting tips.
This year’s models were from Pacific, Meramec, Metro West, Sullivan, West County and Eureka fire districts.
This is capped by the over-the-top enthusiasm of auctioneer Brian Knight, who has worked the live auction at every Pacific event since 2007.
The Pacific event has grown every year, including 2007, $3,077.50 raised; 2008, $3,298.36; 2010, $3,936.63; 2013, $3,540.77; 2014, $8,081.83; 2015, $12,236.11; 2016, $17,286.55; 2017, $21,157.97; 2018, $26,771; and 2019, $31,275.
Receipts could not be found for the years 2009 and 2011.
Local sponsors who contributed to the event include Herb and Yolanda Adams, Agape House, Lisa Apprill, Bahr’s Discount Food, Tim and Debbie Baker, BankStar, Biermann-Straatmann, PC, Citizens Bank, Crooked Creek, D’Angelos;
Dennis Oliver Agency, Kelly Dillon, Pat Dubuque, First State Community Bank, Gallagher Mechanical, Julie George, Gildehaus Comfort Systems, Debby Haley, Haue Valley, Ed and Shirley Hillhouse, Doris Hoffman, Janet Hubbard;
Laura Klaus, Kay LeClaire, Little Ireland, Bill and Linda McLaren, Cindy Meyer, Doris Meyer, Sonia Moore, Meramec Valley R-III School District, Nettie Suze, Nieburg Vitt-Thiebes Funeral Home, Osage Dental;
Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Lumber, Tina Pittman, Real Housewives of Pacific, Reed Insurance, RH Bruns Vault, Route 66 Realtors, Schrader Funeral Home;
Select Construction, Show Me Auto Body, Bob Thornton, Lynne Tobey, Melissa Willmore and Zitzman Elementary School.